15 MUST do things to become a pro-blogger for your creative handmade business
In this digital age, no matter if you offer services or physical products, it’s necessary to use content marketing as a tool to build trust, establish yourself as an expert in your niche and build your community in order to achieve success. Content marketing is simply sharing information that will help your readers solve a problem and achieve a goal. Whether this is learning how to knit a jumper, design an ebook template or how look more like a pro-blogger and eventually monetize your blog – it’s all about building trust and a relationship with the reader. Here’s my top 15 things you can do to act like a pro-blogger (fake it ’til you make it!) and turn your blog readers into raving fans and eventually even a potential customer!
Throughout the post, I’ve included different “pro-blogger levels” – which indicates how much time/effort you’ll need – but the higher the level, the greater the results in the long term. So don’t be afraid of the hard work – it’s only through actual hard work that you’ll reap some amazing results!
Build your most powerful business asset, your email list (professional blogger level 5)
Email marketing is arguably the most powerful form of marketing you can use. Email has been around for a long time, much longer than some of the most popular social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. Relying solely on those social media platforms means you’re building your empire on rented land (i.e. you don’t own your Instagram account and your followers, Instagram does) so therefore you have to play by their rules and you don’t have a direct line of communication with your audience. If your audience follows many accounts or are not on at the time that you post, they could miss your posts. If your preferred social media platform suddenly changes their algorithm or decide to charge money where it was previously free, what would you do?
Email marketing is completely different. The email list is yours and no matter what happens to your social media channels, you have completely control over your email list. By providing you with their email, your reader is allowing you into their personal space. They’ve given you their email, so they want to hear from you. So don’t be afraid of emailing your readers! Make the most of each email you send and only send them valuable content. If you’re not sure what your audience wants, ask them! Building your email list is your business’ best asset should be your priority to start today! Also don’t forget to give, give, give before asking.
How do I build my email list?
Implement lead magnets! A lead magnet (or content upgrade) is an irresistible and free downloadable that’s usually complementary to your blog post you offer in exchange for an email address. This could be a pdf of a checklist, a printable, an ebook, a template, access to a private resource library etc. Having these all over your blog maximises your chance to collect an email address and build your list – so even though this may mean some extra work in the short term, it’s worth it in the long term.
Set up your content upgrade to be downloaded via a landing page. A landing page is a specific page where the only thing you want your reader to do on this page is opt in for the content upgrade. You don’t want to have any other distractions on this page, you want your reader to just focus on one thing – opting in.
The landing page should have:
- A captivating headline that’s attractive, interesting and descriptive.
- An image of what you’re offering e.g. picture of ebook, screenshot of the printable etc
- Benefit of what you’re giving away. What sort of result will the reader achieve?
- Call to action on your button e.g. “Yes I want it!” Never use “Submit” as your text on your button. No one wants to ever ‘submit’ to someone
- BONUS: Add in any relevant social proof like customer testimonials
Have a professional and clean website (professional blogger level 3)
Wanting to get your own domain but have no idea who to go with and set it up? Click through to learn how to choose a web host and start your blog on WordPress. That step-by-step tutorial walks you through how to choose a webhost and set up the most powerful content management system, WordPress in under 5 minutes!
Now that you’ve got your new domain set up you need a theme right? If you’re not code inclined, there are lots of resources where you can pick up a theme. My favourites are: creativemarket.com and themeforest.net.
Customise a favicon (professional blogger level 1)
A favicon is the little image that appears next to your URL in the browser. Some WordPress themes will have an potion for you to upload your own and customise. Otherwise there are plugins available via wordpress.org. Once you decided which plugin you want to install…
To install a plugin on WordPress:
- Click on “Plugins” on the left hand side menu
- Click on the “Add New” button at the top of the screen
- Click on the “Upload Plugin” button at the top of the screen
- Click on the “browse…” button and find your zipped plugin file.
- Click on the “Install Now” button
- Scroll to the plugin you just installed and press on “Activate” to activate your plugin for use
Demonstrate consistent branding (professional blogger level 4)
A style guide is a document you create that details how you convey your brand and how you want to make your audience feel when they interact with it. This includes image inspiration for how you want your images to look, colours, fonts, tone of voice, guidelines as to the timeframe in which you respond to queries, blog post guidelines etc. Always refer to this guide to ensure your brand stays consistent.
Post content consistently (professional blogger level 3)
Want to grow your readership and increase your blog traffic but only post sporadically? How do you expect to build trust when your readers never know when to hear from you?
Click through the discover my 3 secrets to implementing an editorial calendar for more page views and email subscribers, to help you achieve you build up trust with your readers, increase your traffic and achieve your blogging goals.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Get my blogging & email marketing glossary to demystify the techy jargon!
Pitch (and write) guest posts on bigger blogs (professional blogger level 3)
Want to write a guest post on a bigger blog to bring more eyeballs onto your blog but have no idea how? It’s all about building up your relationship capital! Make friends with the blogger first! Sign up for their newsletter, follow them on social media and examine their blog to get a feel for how they operate.
Interact with them on social media! Whether this is just to say you loved their latest blog post, newsletter or webinar, get social! They’re people too, so don’t be afraid to just start the conversation off with a simple hello!
Why not implement the knowledge they’re sharing and tell them about the results you achieved by sending them an email? Perhaps sharing your results as a case study will land you a guest post spot on their blog. They look good because the information they’re sharing gets fantastic results and you get more traffic as a result of the guest post. #bothpartieswinning
Implement a domain specific email account (professional blogger level 1)
Still using gmail as your official email for business? If you followed through on #2, it’s time to get an email ending in your domain name! Depending on what sort of plan you went with, most plans have an email forwarding option attached to the plan. Now, before you complain and groan: “Eurgh, does this mean I need to remember yet another password to this new email account?!” Good news! With email forwarding, you can forward any emails you receive to your official domain email address (email@example.com) to your current gmail email (or whichever email provider you’re with.)
Not only does it look more professional having an official email on your domain, if you continue to use your gmail account, it may deter people from contacting you because they might subconsciously think you’re not legit. It also keeps your personal and business lives separate. Click here to learn how to set up your email on your domain.
In your email signature, include a link to your social media channels and your opt in page!
Use your live social media links to collect email addresses (professional blogger level 1)
You know how most social media profiles allow you to have one live link in your profile? Use this wisely! Don’t link it back to your homepage, use the link to direct visitors to your opt in page for your newsletter! Chances are, if they like the content you’re sharing on your social media channels, the higher the chance that the visitor will click through to find out more about you and sign up for your newsletter.
Make it easy to share your content (professional blogger level 1)
Let’s face it, people can be lazy. If you don’t tell your visitors what you’d like them to do, or it’s not obvious where they should go or how to carry out the action, they’re going to give up (quickly) and not do what you want them to do. So don’t forget to add strong and specific call to actions (CTA) like: “Click the button below to download your freebie!” or “Loved this blog post? If you enjoyed it, I’d be so happy if you shared it with your friends” Click the share link below to share it now!” and make it easy to share your content on social media by including some social share buttons on your website.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Get my blogging & email marketing glossary to demystify the techy jargon!
Offer a resource library (professional blogger level 2)
Have a bunch of content upgrades and want to make it easy for your readers to make the most of the goodies you’re offering? Why not collate them all in your resource library, so that once a reader signs up for one content upgrade, in your welcome email – let them know, that they also have exclusive access to your resource library that lets them download all your other content upgrades? Or you could even offer access to your resource library as a stand alone content upgrade!
Create a 30 day challenge (professional blogger level 2)
Creating a 30 day challenge can help you build your community, by sharing your knowledge and helping your readers to achieve a specific goal in 30 days. Pick your favourite channel – whether it’ll be delivered by email or on social media (or both!) and automate the entire 30 days of content to be sent out at the same time each day (remember, consistency is good!)
During the challenge, you can directly communicate with your readers, receive feedback and tweak your challenge according to the feedback you’re receiving to make the 30 day challenge even more relevant and kickass for your readers. #winning
Create a free mini e-course (professional blogger level 2)
Mini e-courses are arguably the highest converting lead magnets, because they’re perceived as massive value in the readers’ eyes, help your readers achieve a specific goal, with step-by-step instructions within a specific time frame.
Convert your previous blog posts into a series of 5 daily or 4 weekly emails. Add in extra downloadable worksheets, check lists and other resources and don’t hold back on your information! You’re an expert after all in your chosen area, so you have plenty to give and this free-mini e-course can even be turned into a sales funnel as a taster of a paid product you might choose to develop later down the line. #professionalbloggerlevel5
Interview someone you admire (professional blogger level 2)
Is there someone in your field that’s a few years ahead as to where you want to be in 3-5 years time?
Reach out to this person by following their blog, signing up to their newsletter, podcast, and follow them on social media and just strike up a conversation! It’s funny how in this digital communication age, we sometimes forget how to interact like a normal human being. You might worry: What would I say to this person? Will they think I’m creepy? Banish these negative thoughts. Just be yourself, be authentic and have fun!
When your interview goes live, share it amongst your own social networks and encourage your interviewee(s) to do the same. This way, it drives traffic to your blog and you may even pick up some new subscribers to your email list! #winning
Revamp your about page (professional blogger level 2)
After your homepage, your about page is the second most visited page on your website. As the page’s name suggests, a lot of people thing the about page is about themselves, but really – this page should be all about your reader/customer. There are 5 things that should be on your about page:
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
- How will your business/blog help your audience?
- How are you different from other businesses/blogs? What is your unique point of difference?
- What is one of the biggest problems you hear about from your audience and how can you solve this?
- If you sell a service or product, include a link to your sales page
WHAT ACTION DO YOU WANT THE READER TO TAKE?
If your reader isn’t yet ready, include an opt in for a content upgrade here like a free mini e-course like we discussed in #13, so you can get them into your sales funnel.
- What are you giving away?
- How will this help your audience?
- What strong call to action should you write?
Include some social proof from any media you’ve received, customer testimonals top clients you’ve worked for, awards you’ve received, how many people you’ve helped etc.
STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
If you have a more established business, you may include your business’ vision, mission and values. If you have a team, consider linking to a “meet the team” page. If you’re a solopreneur, you may consider adding:
- What did you do before you started your business?
- Why did you choose to start your business?
- What is a personal/business obstacle you had to overcome and how did you do it?
- What’s your proudest accomplishment you’ve achieved through your business?
WHAT ACTION DO YOU WANT THE READER TO TAKE?
Include your opt in again here – like the CTA button you created before in ‘action.’
Hang out where your audience is and help them! (professional blogger level 2)
Find out where your audience hangs out and hang out with them! Does your audience hang out in Facebook groups? Online forums like Reddit? Purse Forum? Instagram? Pinterest? Twitter? Remember these tips to demonstrate your expertise and start building your community:
- Where ever it may be, remember it’s the quality of the relationships you develop, not the quantity
- Don’t just promote yourself all the time
- When people ask for advice, go above and beyond. Don’t just write one word or one sentence replies, but take your time to explain things. If the answer is more complicated, maybe send a direct message and offer to assist them over a Skype call
- Don’t ever vent where your audience hangs out – especially if it’s about a bad client you have. It looks unprofessional and prospective clients might think you may vent about them if they work with you
- Spend 30 minutes a day doing all these and you’ll not only establish yourself as an authority figure in your niche through the demonstration of your knowledge but because you’ve been so helpful, people will not be able to help but feel grateful, want to form part of your community, share your content and support you by buying your services and products!
P.S. Liked what you read, can’t wait to implement these tips to become a professional blogger as a creative business owner and can’t wait to get more? If you liked this post, I’d love for you to share this post with your friends! Just click on the social share buttons on the left hand side or below the post!